Advent Calendar Activity Ideas

My grandmother used to buy my boys some of those advent calendars with little chocolate candies inside and they always looked forward to opening up the little window each day.  I tried keeping that tradition going after my grandmother passed away but I never remembered to start looking for the calendars early enough.

We have a small cloth calendar with a little moveable star that marks the days of December and so last year I printed out little slips of paper to stick in each day and as we moved the star we'd be greeted with a fun family activity to help us celebrate the season.

I thought I'd share some of our advent activity ideas with you in case you wanted to do something similar:

1.  Bake and decorate Cookies

2.  Play Christmas Scattergories (we found our free printables here)

3.  Watch a Christmas movie

4.  Do a Christmas Craft together

5.  Drive around to see Christmas lights

6.  Make Homemade Marshmallows (see how we did that here)

7.  Make Paper Snowflakes

8.  Make snowman pizzas

9.  Work on a jigsaw puzzle together

10.  Make Paper chains

11.  Read a Christmas Story

12.  Make homemade hot cocoa

13.  Make an Ornament

14.  Scavenger Hunt time! (use printables like these)

15.  Attend (or host!) a Christmas party

16.  Picnic by the tree

17.  Make peppermint milkshakes

18.  Listen to Christmas music

19.  Make cinnamon buns

20.  Write a Thankful list

21.  Bake a Christmas pancake breakfast

22.  Play Christmas song Pictionary

23.  Make a Christmas trifle or dessert

24.  Put out milk and cookies for Santa

25. Have a family video game night

26.  Volunteer somewhere together

27.  Make homemade eggnog

28.  String popcorn and cranberries

29.  Go see a live show

30.  Take a sleigh ride

31.  Make/send Christmas cards

32.  Play Christmas Minute to Win it games

33.  Listen to a holiday audiobook together

34.  Go caroling

35.  Decorate a gingerbread house

Linking Up With:


  1. Love your activity list!! I plan on doing some of them myself now that I am no longer working!! Thanks for visiting!!

    1. Thank you! I try really hard to think of things my boys might actually want to do with me... it's so much harder now that they're older.

  2. Great post. Here's to a blessed Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

  3. What lovely ideas! We are so ready for Christmas and will certainly be doing some of these activities. :) #MMBC

    1. Me too! We'll officially start our Christmas celebrations on Friday and I am so excited.

  4. Making homemade marshmallows sounds wonderful. I've never done that! #MMBC

    1. My boys really enjoyed it; I'm not a marshmallow fan but they were pretty easy to make and my boys all agreed they tasted so much better than the store bought ones.

  5. Love this list so much. I am totally borrowing some of these ideas this year! Thank you.

  6. What a brilliant idea and reading the list has made me feel all festive X #weeklylinkup

  7. I love this. It's a much better idea than the chocolate version!
    Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned.

    1. Thank you! I prefer it too; though I think my boys liked the chocolates better.

  8. I love the idea of a family activity to mark each day of Advent! Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea, and list of activities, with the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    1. Thank you! It is a fun way to celebrate the season.

  9. I love this list of activities. My son is only 18 months old so he may be a bit too young for some of these ideas but I will remember them for the future. What we have decided to do was I wrapped 24 Christmas books and he gets to open one every night for us to read together. Thanks for sharing to Wonderful Wednesdays.

    1. We did that when my boys were little too! It was so much fun reading together each night.

  10. I love your ideas. I'll be featuring your posts on Sunday's Best. Thanks for sharing.

  11. These are such GREAT ideas!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to find few that my boys are willing to do with me this year.

  12. This are some great ideas! I can't wait to bake cookies & drive around to look at lights. :)


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